Film Muse: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

We came across Luc Besson’s sartorially excellent film adaptation of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec on Netflix this weekend.

I was only familiar with Besson’s classic Léon: The Professional – famous for a very young Natalie Portman as a Lolita-assassin-in-training – so I had no idea what to expect when I saw a Steam-punkish/Edwardian-era heroine perched on a pterodactyl on the film poster. Apparently, it is based on a French graphic novel in the genre of “gaslamp fantasy.”


Yes that is a pterodactyl.

It is a light surrealist adventure film, narrated in the same self-aware manner as Jeunet’s Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain with far less earnest twee and much more hearty ridiculousness. I just thought it was hilarious and adored the heroine. Set in 1912 or so, the reporter Adele is not quite a demure lady but a Parisienne Indiana Jones who sets her dominance early on in the film with hilarious annoyance at the incompetence of everyone else around her. While the men of France bumble around with bowler hats and outrageous mustaches, Adele simply takes charge.

And ohhh, the clothing!

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I wish there was an easy screen capture option on Netflix. Most of these images I found from digging around online.

I have discovered the source of my predilection for Lolita fashion. Ahh…

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